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Getting in Harmony with Customers

Getting in Harmony with Customers

The technical barriers to achieving a single view of your customers are being eased by a new range of technology, processes and services which fit under the umbrella of customer data integration

CUSTOMER INTEGRITY SOFTWARE | When the primary intent of every piece of work you undertake is delivering improved services to your customer, it really isn’t good enough for your end-to-end view of that customer to be a hit and miss affair.

So when the country’s fourth largest general insurer, Allianz Australia Insurance, recognised it needed to shift from its historical product focus to a razor sharp focus on customers, things just had to change.

“It wasn’t that we weren’t getting any customer information across the end-to-end relationship; it was just hit and miss, and we were relying on call centre operators checking through different screens rather than it being controlled,” says Steve Coles, chief general manager, information technology for Allianz. “So while we could get an end-to-end view, it was clumsier than we would’ve liked.”

“As an insurance company we came from a history of being highly product focused, and that was reflected in our systems environment,” says Coles. “The key impetus for change was a shift in our environment from being more product-focused to having a total focus on the customer.”

The obvious way to support the new strategic focus was to push for a single customer view, that much sought after, yet highly elusive, Holy Grail of the software industry. Allianz now says it has achieved just that after turning to an SOA-based customer information integrity software solution, called Harmony, from Australian enterprise software developer Mastersoft. Allianz’s new Web site supporting a single portfolio view, My Allianz, went live in May.

Giving Customers Control

With more than two-million policyholders, Allianz Australia Limited is a multichannel insurance provider with an international network of brands. The group brings together the expertise of specialists in property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, asset management and banking.

Allianz offers a wide range of insurance and risk management products and services through its subsidiaries, including personal insurance; industrial and commercial insurance; corporate insurance; public and products liability; workers’ compensation; and loss control and risk management strategies. It operates throughout Australia and New Zealand and employs about 3300 staff.

“Allianz is a mature multichannel insurance service provider and from that perspective it’s really important that we offer choice across the different channels that we offer, including our direct channel partnerships with other players such as National Australia Bank, where we partner for insurance delivery to their customers, as well as our broker channel, which is very important to us,” Coles says. “Ultimately the goal we have is to make it as easy as possible for customers to access our products and services and to try and offer self-service solutions as much as possible so that we can give the customer the end control.”

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